Transition and Recovery

Extension of Schemes to Support Al Fresco Hospitality in Wesminster

Westminster City Council has made the decision to extend all current fast track licences until 31 October 2020 so that businesses can continue to allow outdoor eating and drinking.

In some areas, the measures that were put in place as part of their movement strategy will also be extended until the 31 October 2020.  A list of these measures can be found here.

Hospitality businesses do not need to apply for this extension and their current licence will not be amended, but must ensure that they continue to display their licence even after the published expiry date and keep a copy of this letter on the premises to present to an official on request, if necessary.

The Government announced new restrictions on the 22 September that all businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants) must close between 10pm-5am.  All streets that are subject to the current temporary closures will reopen at 10pm effective from 24 September. As a result, businesses must ensure that any furniture placed on the highway is removed by 10pm to support the reopening of the street.

Recovery Plan: Supporting Our Members

Marble Arch London BID has launched its Recovery Plan, helping our members get back to business.

The Marble Arch Recovery Plan focuses on five pledges, as we emerge from this Covid-19 crisis to facilitate recovery.

  • Advocacy and Lobbying – as the single external agency entirely focused on the Marble Arch and Edgware Road district, we have been working with Westminster City Council and Transport for London to create safer and wider walking routes, promoting food and beverage locations for extended tables and chairs and lobbying for a relaxation of Sunday trading laws. We have assisted business access grants and rates relief.
  • A Safe Return – the BID has led the way on the external environment, providing queue markers and helping with queue management. We are helping our members access safe and sustainable travel options, as well as ensuring that work places can be Covid-safe.
  • Enhanced Street Services – the Marble Arch Street Team are on hand to help our members six days a week, from 8am to 10pm. The BID is hot-washing pavements to ensure the environment clean, and we have successfully campaigned for the completion by TfL of crossing works at the remaining junctions on Edgware Road from July.
  • Keeping you Connected – we will keep our members updated on the latest government advice and guidelines, and continue our popular webinar and training series, sharing best practice from overseas where it is applicable to the UK. We have joined the London Alliance consumer confidence campaign and are working with destination marketing agencies to roll out new domestic and international campaigns to support our hospitality sector. Our Community Programme has brought together hotels, venues and offices to support charities and schools throughout the crisis, and will continue to offer virtual volunteering until people return to their places of work and social distancing regulations are reduced.
  • Advice and Intelligence – the BID will share real time information through our dedicated Covid Resource Centre, and ensure that every business sector receives the tailored advice and support it needs. Our Footfall Counters have proved invaluable in tracking visitor numbers throughout the pandemic and lockdown. An Edgware Road Insights Study is now underway to better define catchment areas and the impact of the pandemic on the district.

You can read or download our Marble Arch Recovery Plan here.


NHS Test and Trace

From 24 September a wide range of premises including pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, museums, churches and local authority public buildings will need to display a unique Quick Recognition Code at their entrance, which visitors will scan using the new NHS Test and Trace app. This will automatically register their presence at this location.

It will be a legal requirement, enforced by local authorities, for every relevant premises to display the QR code. Click here to access the government website to create a unique QR code for your premises.

The new government QR code will supersede any existing QR code systems and manual logging of names and numbers. It will not be a legal requirement to download and use the app.

You might find the below resources useful:

NHS Test and Trace


Businesses that can reopen to the public

The venues listed as being able to reopen include:

  • Pubs, bars and restaurants but only with table service and a curfew of 10pm from 24 September
  • Hotels, holiday apartments, campsites and caravan parks
  • Theatres and music halls
  • Schools, nurseries, universities and colleges
  • Hair salons, barbers, spas, nail bars, beauty salons, massage, tattoo and piercing parlours
  • Libraries, community centres and bingo halls
  • Cinemas, museums and galleries
  • Funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks, amusement arcades, skating rinks and model villages
  • Zoos, aquariums, farms, safari parks and wildlife centres
  • Gyms, pools and other sports facilities (indoor organised sport for over 18s will no longer be exempt from the rule of six)
  • Performing arts can take place outdoors with a socially distanced audience
  • Casinos, bowling alleys, and skating rinks
  • Indoor play areas, including soft play areas
  • Remaining close-contact services, including any treatments on the face such as eyebrow threading or make-up application
  • Wedding receptions for up to 15 people (down from 30 from 28 September), in the form of a sit-down meal, and funerals for up to 30 people

Businesses will only be able to open from these dates once they have completed a risk assessment and are confident they are managing the risks.

From 24 September a wide range of premises including pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, museums, churches and local authority public buildings will need to display a unique QR Code at their entrance. Click here to find out more.


Businesses that must remain closed to members of the public

The following places will remain closed:

  • Nightclubs, dance halls, discotheques
  • Exhibition halls or conference centres must remain closed for events such as exhibitions or conferences, other than for those who work for the business or organisation who run the venue.


  • Guidance for all workplace settings can be found here.
  • Test & Trace guidance: Organisations in certain sectors should keep a temporary record of customers and visitors for 21 days and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed. Full guidance can be found here.
  • TfL have spoken with many leisure and hospitality businesses and as a result have developed a short briefing for hospitality businesses.
  • Westminster City Council has published guidance for pubs, bars and restaurants in response to questions they have received and to highlight any other information that may be useful. You can find them on the Council’s website here. Westminster published a licensing update on 24 July.
  • Guidance on reduced VAT rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions can be found here.


Working safely tool

To help employers reopen their businesses safely, the Government has launched a new tool to identify the most relevant guidance for your business. The guidance highlighted will help you carry out a risk assessment and make sensible adjustments to the site and workforce.

Employees can also use this guidance to check what their workplace needs to do to keep people safe.

This guidance is only for businesses that are allowed to reopen in England and can be found here.


Recommendations for our members

Going back to work

You can travel to work, including to provide voluntary or charitable services, where you cannot work from home and your workplace is open. With the exception of the organisations covered above in the section on closing businesses and venues, the government has not required any other businesses to close to the public.

However, businesses must behave responsibly now and mitigate risk of a second wave of infection. Please follow Government guidance, employees who can work from home should still work from home.

The government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. These 8 guides cover a range of different types of work.

Recommended suppliers

Here at Marble Arch BID we are linked into networks of other BIDs and we have used our sources to identify suppliers of PPE and other equipment businesses may need to prepare for re-opening, whether you are a shop, cafe or office or any other type of business. Please click here to see a list of recommended suppliers.

Security guidance

Counter Terrorism Policing Headquarters has produced some security guidance as you get ready to reopen your business. It includes advice on queues and social distancing, search and screening, restricted entry points, and personnel and people security issues.

Staff and well-being

We recommend that your staff are trained and aware of any new rules and guidance that your business puts in place. These may include: regular hand-washing, guidance on what personal protection equipment (PPE) will be provided for staff, new cleaning regime, recommendations of the safest ways to travel to and from work e.g. flexible hours to avoid limited capacity on public transport, walking / cycling routes.

Alternative ways to travel, such as walking and cycling, could relieve the pressure on public transport. If you would like to put in place a cycle to work scheme, please read the Department for Transport’s Cycle to Work Scheme Guidance for Employers, covering benefits, eligibility, equipment, taxation, and salary sacrifice and national insurance contributions.

It is evident from our conversation with local businesses on 6 May that the Government needs to provide accurate guidelines to help businesses get employees back to work safely, but businesses will need to do more to ensure employees feel safe, even more so in the hospitality and retail sectors where back of house staff often work in small spaces. Employers must communicate guidelines clearly and repeat them constantly.

Health and Safety Executive have published some guidance on how to keep people safe at work, click here to find out more.

The London Fire Brigade have published guidance on fire safety matters and returning to work after the Coronavirus lockdown. It contains helpful information from a fire safety perspective including matters related to management of assembly points and evacuation routes impacted by social distancing issues.

Queuing protocol and social distancing

It is important that shops respect neighbouring premises and work together to ensure customers can queue safely.

We are providing free social distancing floor stickers for the pavements outside stores to enable a district wide, uniformed system for safe queuing, please get in touch if you would like free floor markers for your business.

By the 1 June, we installed over 250 queue markers for more than 70 businesses, in over 100 different locations.

Please visit our Social Distancing page for more information.